Most of the greatest video game characters are memorable for one or more of a few things. If they're a protagonist in the majority of role-playing games, they're likely iconic and beloved for being morally upright, virtuous and brilliant leaders, like Commander Shepard of Mass Effect, for example. For the player-characters of first person shooters, your protagonist is usually hardcore, intense, never gives up and of course, hopefully, has a few witty lines while staring death in the face. Captain Price of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare trilogy comes to mind.
On the other hand, antagonists are often just as revered in the gaming community as the heroes they are eventually defeated by. Vaas Montenegro of Far Cry 3, for example, was entertaining because he was erratic and unpredictable. Other iconic villains have earned their place in our hearts because of various sinister tendencies and overall evil, brutal personalities.
Arguably no franchise out there blurs the lines between "good guy" and "bad guy" quite like Grand Theft Auto. While the first two games didn't offer much in the way of player-character development, the release of GTA III brought us Claude, who can be accurately described as the "strong, silent type." Vice City's Tommy Vercetti brought the dialogue, and while he was a career criminal and laid waste to plenty of people, we were cheering for him the whole time. San Andreas introduced us to Carl Johnson, the gang member with a heart of gold, who takes on police corruption and betrayers within his own group while committing plenty of violent crime. Vice City Stories and Liberty City Stories continued the trend of offering up protagonists who were by no means virtuous, but still managed to get us on their side.
Grand Theft Auto V, however, brought us three characters to guide through adventures, and while Franklin and Michael had their flaws, Trevor Phillips was a maniacal, terrifying, meth-cooking "businessman" whose very presence within the game polarized fans to say the very least. Trevor, one of the most entertaining characters ever to be featured in a video game, brought out our inner psychopath and made even other GTA characters seem like saintly, well-adjusted individuals. Because we adore him so much, here are fifteen of the most messed up, scary, disturbing things Trevor Phillips did in GTA V.
Honorable Mention: Calls Franklin "My N-Word"
This scene occurs one of the times Trevor meets up with Franklin at his aunt's house. Franklin's aunt Denise and some of her friends march out of the house repeating a feminist chant, and Trevor shouts at them to "SHUT THE F*** UP!" before greeting Franklin with "oh, my n-word!" If anyone could get away with saying the actual word in a black neighborhood, it would be Trevor but the fact that he opts to greet Franklin the way he did is one of the reasons we like him, but definitely, don't have him figured out.
15 Violated His Hockey Coach
One of the funniest aspects of Trevor as a character is that while he is the most outwardly insane, violent, twisted people in the game, he is also Canadian. This goes against the popular (but wildly untrue) stereotype that all Canadians are nice, pleasant, easy going people. They are not, but at the same time, they are not all Trevor. Like most Canadian kids, Trevor grew up playing hockey. Unlike most young Canucks though, he implied that he sodomized his coach with a hockey stick after being cut from the team. This is hilarious and troubling at the same time. Even back in the 1980's and 90's, when the NHL looked like WWE minus the leotards, this type of behavior would not have been tolerated.
14 His Rampages
While some missions in Grand Theft Auto games are well thought out, intricate and even somewhat complicated, Trevor's rampage missions are about as straightforward as they come: start killing with whatever weapon you have and don't stop until time runs out.
While this is perfectly normal for Trevor, we couldn't help but get a chuckle out of his reasons for being thrown into these rages. The first of the missions, in which Trevor massacres a bunch of rednecks, occurs after some idle insults. The second has Trevor in the middle of the Vagos' neighborhood, where all hell breaks loose when they make fun of his "Canadian" accent. Against the Ballas, he gets ticked off by an idle insult. When he goes off on the military men near Fort Zancudo, it is again, because a couple of them crack jokes about Canadians. Finally, when he mangles a group of hipsters in Mirror Park, it is because one of them called him a "mother-f***er." Trevor is a little sensitive about his mother.
13 (Optional) Takes People To The Altruists
This one completely depends on you, the player. During your progression through the game, after the mission "Nervous Ron," Trevor can bring people from random event encounters to the Altruists Cult in the mountains. It is implied that this rural community is not just religious enthusiasts who live in the middle of nowhere, but that they actually cannibalize anyone who shows up. If this is true, bringing unsuspecting people looking for help to them is pretty despicable. This being the case, you and Trevor are simply a "Meals on Wheels" type of delivery service for these psychos. Highly despicable, dear reader.
12 His Meltdown At The Sight Of His Mother
While Trevor's mother gets mentioned a few times throughout the game, she only shows up after the main quest heists are completed. As long as you've kept Trevor alive, the "Strangers and Freaks" question mark will show up over his trailer. Trevor storms into his home only to see his long lost mother in there. They have an unusually emotional exchange in which Trevor basically breaks down, begging for her favor, despite having ignored her for years.
At the end of the scene, she tells him she lives without any insurance, but is in constant pain and needs medication. Trevor is then tasked with bringing her a van full of "Deludamol," likely a GTA equivalent of Dilaudid, a powerful painkiller. When he returns to his trailer with the drugs, however, she is nowhere to be found, and he collapses, crying on the floor.
This is a very out-of-character set of events for Trevor, but does show that he has a serious case of "mommy issues."
11 Declares His Love For Mary-Ann
Those Mary-Ann missions that occur throughout the game are incredibly boring, with the notable exception of the nonsense that comes out of her mouth. Mary-Ann is a fitness enthusiast with an attitude. She first encounters Michael, who she accuses of wanting to take her to bed. They race on foot, and she loses and bikes away in a fury. She then races Franklin in a triathlon, and loses once again. The final protagonist who finds her is Trevor. When they meet, she's tearing her most recent male victim a new one, and Trevor interrupts, punching the gentleman in the face and enthusiastically exclaiming his love for Mary-Ann, possibly realizing she is the only woman crazy enough for him. In all honesty, by that point in the game, we already expected something like that from Trevor.
10 Kills Wade's Friends And Then Brainwashed Him
We don't know much about Wade, other than he is one of Trevor's sidekicks and is not very bright. While he isn't very bright, he is very effective and actually impressed us in his capacity to carry out Trevor's orders. According to the backstory of the game, the two met a year prior, in 2012. Wade and his friends were headed through Blaine County to the "Gathering" (believed to be a reference to the Gathering of the Juggalos, the fans of Insane Clown Posse). They encountered Trevor and wanted to buy drugs. The official story implies that Wade's friends and Trevor headed off to the quarry for a deal, but they abandoned him. Trevor looked after him since. Reading into it a bit more, it's clear that Trevor just killed Wade's friends and adopted Wade as a sort of dimwitted lackey, manipulating him to feel as though he owes Trevor.
9 Trevor May Have Killed His Brother
We only hear about Trevor's brother Ryan very briefly in the game, and his mention comes completely by chance if you run into the zombie cosplayer Graham. Trevor tells Graham that he reminds him of his dead brother Ryan ... after he was dead. Trevor then notes that he "wasn't fond of" his brother, and his death was "an accident." Trevor also said that he was glad that his brother was dead. It was a very quick and awkward interaction, but the fact that he changes the topic so quickly, and actually ends the conversation, is interesting to say the last. We can't say with complete certainty that Trevor Philips killed his brother. But we know that Trevor saw his brother while dead and knows how he died, and given everything else we know about this character, it isn't so ridiculous for us to assume Trevor did the deed.
8 His Treatment Of Floyd
While Trevor's treatment of most people is far from exemplary, there are some troubling events with him and Floyd. Floyd is Wade's cousin, and while he is very good-natured, he is an absolute moron, and has a nightmarish wife who walks all over him. Floyd is also on the receiving end of some weird interactions with Trevor.
Trevor essentially destroys Floyd and Debra's condo, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. When they first meet, the two and Wade have an awkward interaction regarding Floyd's manhood. Trevor whips his out and demands that Floyd do the same. This is one of the funnier introductions. Later on, it is suggested that Trevor has had his way with Floyd. One of the scenarios available for switching to Trevor as the controlled character is him lying in bed, spooning with Floyd. When Trevor leaves the room, Floyd starts to cry. If that doesn't spell out "that man had his way with me" we don't know what does.
Of course, there is also that nasty bit of business when Trevor left Floyd to be mercilessly beaten by Merryweather Security contractors while he snuck out of the shipyard with the shipping manifest during the mission "Scouting the Port."
Finally, there is the final interaction with Debra and Floyd, and while the camera does cut away to a view of outside the condo complex after Debra has loaded her gun and Floyd has pulled out his knife, we suspect that Floyd was shot by Debra, who was in turn torn to pieces by Trevor. In a matter of a few days, Trevor has absolutely destroyed Floyd's life. Or maybe that was a mercy compared to living with Debra. Up for debate, we guess.
7 Kidnaps A Cartel Leader's Wife
If you're normal, you don't kidnap the wife of a cartel boss. Even if you're abnormal; a seasoned criminal like Michael or Franklin, you still don't do something like kidnap the wife of a cartel boss. But our boy Trevor, he has no fear. Trevor, Michael, and Franklin do a few jobs for Martin Madrazo in the mid stage of the game (after Michael destroys his mistress' house). After seeing how she is treated, Trevor decides to kidnap Madrazo's wife Patricia — she hides out in his trailer afterward for some time. They have a somewhat mother-son relationship, and her presence is hilarious most of the time while she is involved with the main plot of the game. The entire sub-plot with Patricia Madrazo ties in perfectly with Trevor's mother issues that we see much later (after the main story heists have been completed).
6 ...Cries When He Returns Her
We genuinely get to see Trevor's sensitive side during the scene where he drives Patricia back to Martin's ranch, and it is a really "WTF" moment. We get it: Trevor is a complicated man with a complicated heart, and nobody can be a maniacal psycho all the time. Still, we had just gotten used to Trevor, wailing on people, blowing up everyone and everything, and being absurdly funny most of the time he's on screen. During his sudden breakdown while delivering Patricia back to her abusive husband —even though she is the victim of kidnapping— she has to console him. Even if you're one of those people who didn't like Trevor at this point, it was hard not to feel for the guy as he openly wept in his truck.
5 Messed Around With A Customer's Girlfriend And Then Kills Him
As we all know, Trevor is an entrepreneur of sorts, running Trevor Philips Enterprises. He cooks and distributes meth as his primary source of income. It doesn't take a narcotics cop to know that the clientele of said business can become desperate and act on impulse from time to time. In the first scene we meet Trevor, he is "enjoying the company" of a woman named Ashley, when he sees a news report of Michael De Santa's raid on the jewelry shop.
He becomes agitated and leaves his trailer, being confronted by Ashley's boyfriend, Johnny, a short time later. Some of you may have recognized Johnny from GTA IV, and if you got excited to see a familiar face again, it didn't last long. When Johnny confronts Trevor (fairly pleasantly considering Trevor was just pounding away at his woman), Trevor quickly calms him down. Trevor is soft spoken, even gives him a hug, and then suddenly throws him on the ground, and stomps his brains out.
The scene established Trevor as an unpredictable character very quickly.
4 ...Then Talks To The Guy's Remains On His Boot
This all happens in the first of Trevor's missions during the game (and just halfway into it). We knew right away that we liked what he was all about. Trevor, Ron Jakowski, and Wade pile into the truck after Johnny (the leader of the local Lost MC gang) is killed. The group sets off to confront some other members of the gang. Trevor's intent is to kill these guys, and when he encounters gang members Terry and Clay, they ask where Johnny is. Trevor responds with a dark but hilarious tirade, talking to what he calls a piece of brain on the sole of his boot:
"Hey, hey cowboy, do you mind that I ****ed your old lady! Sorry, what was that? What? No, no? You don't mind? Oh, because you're a dead man, and the only sentient part of you left is this little bit of brain in the gristle on the end of my boot? Well, thank you very much, cowboy."
3 Tortures Someone
You have to be one sick puppy to torture someone. This pretty much goes without saying, and the torture scene definitely turned some would-be players off from playing through the game.
The torture session is in the mission "By the Book," and Trevor is required to 'interrogate' Ferdinand (Mr. K) about the identity of a possible terrorist, while Michael stakes out a house in which this terrorist, Tahir, is attending a party. Trevor can pull a tooth out with a pair of pliers, beat Mr. K with a pipe wrench, shock him with a car battery, and of course, waterboarding is an option.
2 ...Then Talks To His Victim About Torture
After Trevor's torture session with Mr. K, he is instructed to kill him, but (in a stunning move showing extreme mercy) Trevor leaves him alive and drives him to the airport. This could be incredibly awkward. If you think getting coffee after a one night stand is awkward, imagine driving your torture victim to the airport.
During the drive, Trevor explains that:
"The media and the government would have us believe that torture is some necessary thing. We need it to get information, to assert ourselves. Did we get any information out of you? Exactly. Torture is for the torturer ... or for the guy giving orders to the torturer. You torture for the good times — we should all admit that. It's useless as a means of getting information."
In essence, "we didn't need to do that, but we did anyway for fun." Trevor then drops Mr. K off at the airport like nothing ever happened.
1 He May Have Inspired A Murder
One of the biggest criticisms of the video game industry, in particular, the violent corners of the video game industry, is that violent, brutal games make violent, brutal people. It's nonsense for the most part, and 99.999999% of people who play Grand Theft Auto will never commit a violent crime because of it, just like only a small amount of people will join the military because they played Call of Duty (an atrocious reason to join the military). Regardless, there have been some documented cases of young people killing someone and saying they got the idea from Grand Theft Auto games.
The most prominent instance of this likely the 2014 case of Eldon Samuel III, who shot his father and brother, and later told cops that he was inspired by Trevor. He told cops that his father had a history of beating him and had been talking about zombies on the day of the killings. Samuel killed his father with a pistol and then his brother, using a shotgun. It is hard to say whether this kid actually committed these crimes because he wanted to emulate Trevor Philips, or whether he made up that part of his story to try to shirk some of the blame.